Welcome from the Program Chair

R. Scott Dingeman, MD, FAAP
Program Chair

Welcome to the Society for Pediatric Pain Medicine’s 5th Annual Meeting at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix, Arizona.  After listening to our members, we have created a unique and exciting program this year that focuses on the new challenges we are all facing in our current practices.   Is medical marijuana legal or about to be legal in your state?  Do you have an adolescent patient who says that “vaping weed” or “taking CBD oil” everyday is the only thing that helps her chronic abdominal pain?  Come hear Dr. Jeff Galinkin of Children’s Hospital Colorado speak frankly about the most up-to-date cannabis research happening in Colorado and the future of its clinical applications, particularly in pediatric pain management, in the USA and abroad.  Afterwards, listen to Dr. Senthil Sadhasivan, the Chair at Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University, speak about another provocative topic.  How many of us are searching for the new miracle pain medication that provides excellent analgesia without any side effects or potential for abuse and misuse?  Dr. Sadhasivan will introduce us to some novel analgesics that are emerging in the literature, and will also share innovations in pharmacogenetics that are already helping some pediatric anesthesiologists personalize their postoperative pain treatment strategies to individual patients.

Session Two will continue to challenge our traditional approaches to pain management.  Dr. Doralina Anghelescu of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital will explore the negative impact opioids and other analgesics may have on children living with cancer and then ask if we have the power to decrease recurrence.  Dr. Peter Marhofer subsequently joins us all the way from Vienna to show us how to customize and improve our regional anesthesia techniques to minimize opioid administration post-operatively.  Session two will close with a lively debate over the use of nitrous oxide for sedation and analgesia in kids undergoing procedures by Drs. Rosalie Tassone of Palm Beach Children’s Hospital and Stefan Friedrichsdorf, the Medical Director of Pain Medicine, Palliative Care & Integrative Medicine at Children’s Hospital & Clinics of Minnesota.

After a tasty lunch with exhibitors, Session Three will commence with our very first patient interview.  Many of us are confronted in our daily practice in pain clinic, in the operating rooms and on the floors with somatization and conversion disorder.  Dr. Neil Singhal of Phoenix Children’s Hospital will introduce us to a few of his patients who are willing to share their perspective after being diagnosed and successfully treated with this puzzling disorder.   Afterwards, Dr. Rashmi Bhandari, a clinical psychologist from Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford, will introduce Learning Health System (LHS) registries and how they can help direct treatments and enhance collaboration and research for pediatric chronic pain.  Finally, Dr. Gerard Banez, the Program Director and clinical psychologist for the Pediatric Pain Rehabilitation Program at Cleveland Clinic Children’s, and Dr. Navil Sethna, the Clinical Director of The Mayo Family Pediatric Pain Rehabilitation Center of Boston Children’s Hospital, will both take us on tours of their exceptional programs and let us know how and when to refer patients to their and other similar programs.  They will also help us understand how to integrate these patients back into our practices at home and give us tips on managing chronic pain that returns after graduating from a pain rehabilitation program.

Before the program even begins, start your day off right with one of 8 invigorating PBLD discussions that will create some undoubtedly stimulating discussions over breakfast.  Finally, conclude the meeting with one of several sensational workshops.  Whether you need help perfecting your baby spinal skills, want advice on creating a successful pediatric pain program or publishing your research, or are interested in learning more about acupuncture or chronic pain interventions, it’s all here.

The JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in the Northeast Valley of Phoenix is a picture-perfect location where you’ll enjoy not only the meeting, but Sonoran sunsets, exquisite dining, the Wildfire Golf Club with two 18-hole championship golf courses, the Tennis Center, several outdoor pools, a waterslide & kids splash pad, jogging trails, and of course an elegant spa.

Phoenix is the capital of Arizona and the largest city in the majestic Sonoran desert.  Originally inhabited by the Ancestral Puebloans, Phoenix is now home to Desert Ridge, one of Phoenix’s largest master-planned communities and my home away from home.  My mother retired and moved to Desert Ridge almost 15 years ago, so my family and I have been coming to Desert Ridge for reunions, holidays, and vacations ever since.  Just be careful not to break one of my Mom’s windows when playing the second hole of Faldo Championship Course!

Desert Ridge is not just home to the JW Marriott and my Mom, but also to the Musical Instrument Museum (the MIM), the largest museum of its type in the world with a collection of nearly 16,000 musical instruments and associated objects from around the globe.  Across from the JW Marriott are High Street, a retail and residential community which features several restaurants, boutiques, and indie services with urban appeal, and Desert Ridge Marketplace where you’ll find both specialty stores and national retailers. The world-renowned Mayo Clinic’s Arizona Campus opened its doors on East Mayo Boulevard 30 years ago and also calls Desert Ridge home.

Don’t forget to explore other nearby communities, such as Carefree known for its quaint art galleries and boutiques, Cave Creek where you’ll find the Wild West alive and well, North Scottsdale full of upscale restaurants and shopping, or enjoy a hike, mountain-bike or horse-back ride on the Pinnacle Peak Trail or at the McDowell Mountain Regional Park, where you can see desert wildlife up close and view the Phoenix skyline.   

We hope to see you in Phoenix this March for SPPM’s 5th Annual Meeting at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge.  I’d like to thank everyone who helped create this year’s sensational program, especially my Program Co-Chair, Dr. Vidya Chidambaran, Dr. Rita Agarwal and all the members of the Education Committee, the SPPM Board of Directors and Executive Committee, and Kim Battle.  We all promise that this meeting will be an educational experience and Sonoran vacation you won’t forget!  



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